Just 0.3% of railway tracks fit for trains running at 160km/hour
The Train 18 has successfully completed trials at a speed of up to 130 km per hour in Moradabad. It is now being moved to Kota in Rajasthan for trials at the speed of up to 160 km per hour.Updated: Nov 27, 2018 08:10 IST
Only 0.3% of India’s railway tracks spread over 60,000 km are fit to handle trains running at the speed of up to 160 km per hour, according to an assessment made in an internal document. The assessment has come to light as the Indian railways is currently conducting trials for introducing Train 18, which is India’s first self-powered, engineless train designed to run at 160 km per hour.
The Train 18 has successfully completed trials at a speed of up to 130 km per hour in Moradabad. It is now being moved to Kota in Rajasthan for trials at the speed of up to 160 km per hour. The railways is hoping to start the train’s commercial operation by the year-end. The railways is finalising a cabinet note for converting the Delhi-Mumbai and DelhiHowrah routes into corridors to overcome the infrastructure problems for running trains at the speed of 160 km per hour.
The ₹18,000 crore project will include construction of walls along the corridors, removal of level crossings and changing train engines and introducing automatic train protection devices.
“We already have prioritised six corridors, which we call golden quadrilateral… (they) carry 58% of the freight and 52% of the passenger traffic but account only for 16% of the total network. Currently, only 5% of the Indian railways network is fit for (trains with speeds up to) 130 km per hour… only 0.3% (tracks) are fit for 160 km per hour operations, while coaches and locos are compatible to run at that speed,’’ said a railway official on condition of anonymity.
Four other corridors, Chennai-Delhi, Howrah-Mumbai, Mumbai-Chennai, and HowrahChennai, which span 10,000 km are also required to be made fit for 160 km per hour rail operations, officials said.
According to another official, the 1,384 km Delhi-Mumbai corridor has 431 level crossings, which need to be removed. He said there will be 2-3 metre high fencing along the corridor. The DelhiHowrah corridor is 1,455 km long.
First Published: Nov 27, 2018 07:53 IST